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Broadening the mind – STEM Europe 2025 tour open for registration

By Melissa Wagoner

Travel isn’t just about going somewhere new. It can also be a way of learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics – commonly referred to as STEM – in an entirely new way.

“I want students to have the opportunity to engage in hands-on interactive STEM activities at significant locations around the world, where they learn first-hand about topics we can only talk about in the classroom,” Butte Creek Elementary School’s middle school science instructor Stacie Harker said. She has recently begun partnering with the educational tour company, EF Tours, first traveling with students to Belize and now in planning a trip to England and France. 

“In STEM tours, students meet with scientists and learn about innovations in the world today in an authentic way.”

It’s a lesson Harker herself learned when she began traveling in college, initially spending two summers in Ecuador, then a semester in Australia.

“I gained so much from these experiences that I want to give back and provide similar opportunities for students today,” Harker explained. “Exploring other cultures expands my worldview, helps me understand and honor others for our differences as well as our similarities, and provides me with insight into my own values. I am positive any student traveling abroad will experience personal growth, and perhaps some may even become inspired to pursue a STEM career!”

The 2022 EF Travel trip to Belize -- Submitted Photo
The 2022 EF Travel trip to Belize — Submitted Photo

Taking place June 22 through July 2, 2025, Harker’s upcoming trip will offer students – aged 14 through 19 at the time of travel – an opportunity to explore areas in and around London and Paris in a way that would not be possible without the help of an experienced guide.

“These educational guided tours offer so much more…” Harker said. “I love hearing the story of a place when I visit it – I learn so much and my experience is more meaningful. Also, having a local guide helps us with the logistics of each location – what to do and what not to do while navigating another country, whether this means where to withdraw money, where to eat, or where the best markets to find souvenirs are. EF also has offices worldwide that will assist our group if there are any events that occur that may cause a change in our itinerary. I travel with peace of mind knowing we have that level of support for our group.”

And the educational experiences – in this case ones that are specifically STEM-based such as a hands-on forensics lab activity followed by a Jack the Ripper tour, an interactive engineering challenge centered on Stonehenge and a code-breaking workshop exploring Bletchley Park’s role in ending World War II – are invaluable.

“I am so excited about this STEM tour to England and France,” Harker enthused. “It is a perfect blend of hands-on STEM activities and traditional touring…”

Because, while students will spend much of their time focused on education, they will also explore famous sites like Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the London Eye, take a boat cruise on the Thames River, enjoy a theater performance, and ride the Eurostar train under the English Channel.

While a trip of this caliber isn’t cheap – the current price is estimated at $5,519 – it does cover most costs and fundraising, scholarship and payment options are available.

“Students can apply for $1,000 merit or needs-based scholarships through EF,” Harker said. “They will also be provided with their own fundraising page. In addition, I will also be offering fundraising opportunities for them if they choose to participate. This tour is planned for summer of 2025, so we have plenty of time to save and make the payments more affordable.”

For more information or to register visit www.eftours.com/2690621CW.

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